This week's Answer:
Point About Midpoints
the infamous, well-known and often greatly feared but
always respected midpoint. I sympathize with you: What's
so gosh-darn important about halfway through your
screenplay. Can't I just keep going without having to stop
and think about this halfway point? It's hard enough
writing a screenplay and remember plot-points and act
breaks and now I've got to get all serious about another
spot, the stupid midpoint.
this will help: Think of yourself on a journey and you
come across a river. For you to proceed, you're going to
need to cross over. (The Doors said it aptly
when Jim Morrison sang, "Break on through to the
other side." In this case, you're crossing over to
the other side and not breaking anything.) Your
hero/protagonist is always on some kind of journey and to
get to where he's going, he's going to have to cross over
and pass a certain point where he really can't turn back.
This is where and when he commits himself to the
task/journey at hand. This is when he moves into a much
more proactive state, takes on the primary challenge and
goes into full action. Before he reached the midpoint,
there's usually a way, if he preferred, to go back, not
take on the antagonist, not prepare to meet the challenges
ahead. It's as though when you reached the river and got
on the rope bridge that leads to the other side, you know
that the rope bridge is going to fall apart after you walk
on it and get off on the other side of the river.
You know, once you cross the river, there is no way to go
accept forward on the path.
midpoint is also usually the moment in a script when the
hero realizes the problem is much greater than he/she
thought and circumstances have revealed a bigger truth.
The bigger truth in this case could be you realize that
somebody has cut some of the bindings of the rope bridge
and it's very dangerous to even consider walking on it and
a storm just started, drenching you in a torrential
downpour and lightning is getting closer to the bridge
every second. You had no idea that a storm could happen
this quickly in this spot. So, what do you do? Do you run
away or do you risk walking on that bridge?
don't know about you, but I sure wouldn't. I'll
let my protagonist have all the fun.
be in my safe, dry office, typing my next blog.
pretty heroic, isn't it?